Today’s complex digital ecosystem is made up of many interlinked parts. APIs play a critical role in it as gatekeepers and connectors – providing many automation opportunities and efficiencies that end-users don’t even notice.
Businesses pay close attention to APIs. They’re critical to the functionality of applications, data, and all kinds of customer interactions.
This makes API management an important topic for organizations across practically every sector. According to Zion Market Research, the global marketplace for API management is expected to grow at a CAGR of 33.4% between 2017 and 2022, reaching 3,436.16 million by 2022.
Read this article to find out what API management is, what benefits it brings to organizations, and how to get the right API management solution for your business.
What is API management?
API management is a set of processes for distributing, controlling, and analyzing the APIs an organization uses to connect apps and data across clouds and with the external world.
The primary goal of API management is to enable organizations that create their own APIs or use external APIs to monitor their activity and meet the demands of development and applications using APIs. This is how they ensure that all APIs are used in compliance with corporate policies and governed with the right levels of security.
By deploying API management on the edge of your organization and the external world, you gain important capabilities ranging from security and traceability to communication efficiency.
API management is made of many moving blocks that are typically merged into a monolith solution. At BlueSoft, we take a different approach. Our solution, Agama API, was developed with microservices patterns in mind to allow organizations to make the most of their API ecosystems. Many businesses now turn to a microservices architecture as it helps to accelerate software development. We’ve anticipated that and prepared a solution that assists them in their journey.
The impact of API management on the IT world
What is the function of APIs exactly? They expose the organization’s data and make its assets available through applications. APIs are also used for adding a digital layer to customer, employee, and partner interactions.
This is why API management is so essential. It gives developers and businesses tools for securing, scaling, governing, analyzing, and monetizing their API programs.
One study that looked in detail at the role of API adoption in digital transformation initiatives showed that APIs act as key enablers. It showed that 71% of the surveyed organizations expect the volume of API calls to rise by 2022.
Benefits of API management
Improved customer experience
APIs drive the rapid of new applications and create seamless experiences in various channels, matching the needs of customers. Thanks to increased connectivity, organizations across different industries can deliver responsiveness and convenience at a completely new level. For example, APIs bring personalization and value-added services that you’d otherwise have to build yourself.
Businesses are dealing with more apps and data than ever. They need to keep scaling upward, all the while fostering a culture of innovation – often by creating and publishing new APIs. By making access easier and reducing the technical burden through the entire API lifecycle, API management support scalability.
When APIs are accessible to many parties – starting with internal developers to partner organizations and customers – security becomes a key focus. Governing data access can be tricky when your applications are distributed and disconnected.
You need to take every possible measure to protect sensitive data and make sure that permissions are assigned and managed properly. Achieving that without an API management solution is difficult because you don’t get to leverage its visibility and consistency.
Avoiding changes in critical systems
An API management solution can utilize existing systems and allow you to avoid applying any changes in the critical systems used at your company every day.
Becoming more agile and responsive
Being able to quickly create and publish any endpoint in real time helps businesses stay nimble and become more adaptive.
API management solutions gather and analyze data to offer you insights into usage patterns, devices, and geographies – all with the aim of driving more informed decision-making.
Maximized developer performance
Your developers can use a centralized lifecycle management solution to understand and analyze the entire set of APIs and web services. They get excellent service visibility and traceability in a centralized panel that makes teams more productive.
Developers also enjoy easier and automated documentation management thanks to a dedicated developer’s portal. API management tools also enable testing with external development teams thanks to a module like Sandbox.
How is API management implemented?
API management solutions are designed to make API creation, deployment, publication, and maintenance easier and more streamlined.
There’s no denying that every individual API management tool comes with a unique set of features. Most offer core features such as security, documentation, sandbox environments, and high availability.
Today, organizations build API management solutions in-house or buy them as a service from third-party providers. Promoted by tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Twitter, the Open API movement fosters API dependency upon lightweight JSON and REST services instead of conventional service-oriented architecture (SOA). Modern tools often use these formats.
What API management software must include
Here are the must-have features you should be looking for when choosing the right API management tool for your business:
- A developer portal that provides API documentation together with developer onboarding processes such as signup and account administration.
- Automation and control over the connections between your APIs and the applications using them.
- An API gateway that serves as a single point-of-entry for all clients and determines how they interact with APIs via policies.
- API lifecycle management covering the entire cycle, from design, through implementation, until retirement.
- API monetization via usage contracts. You can monetize access to the microservices behind the APIs by contracts defined on the basis of metrics such as the number of API calls.
- Ability to monitor API traffic from individual apps, so you know what’s happening with your APIs – for example, which consumer or application calls which API and how often or how many APIs have failed (and why).
- Consistency between multiple API implementations and versions.
- Memory management and caching mechanisms that improve application performance.
- Security procedures and policies that protect APIs from misuse and ensure that the right permissions are given to the right people.
- A clear flow of statuses to assist the API steward – the person responsible for managing what is visible on production and in charge of which API works where.
How to know that you found the right tool?
Measure the success of your API management by taking into account factors like dependability, flexibility, quality of API behavior, speed, and cost.
Govern your APIs with Agama API
Our solution Agama API includes core functionalities such as API design, publishing analytics, monitoring, security, and monetization. Moreover, it’s flexible and can be easily connected with your monitoring systems.
Its architecture applies to two alternative scenarios:
- where the API management solution is responsible for data transformation,
- and where it’s a proxy layer securing communication by adding mechanisms to enable scaling thanks to the cache.
We can deploy Agama API in on-premises infrastructures (data centers), public cloud, or hybrid environments.
At BlueSoft, we don’t follow the ‘black box approach’ and can easily customize our API management platform to your unique needs. We know that the true value is connected to the uniqueness of your idea and the indispensable standardization we’re bringing to the table.
Our experts can help you deploy, change, support, and create the environment for its deployment. We often advise our clients on how to introduce the right mechanisms with a pragmatic approach.
The best part? You don’t have to deal with licensing limitations such as user limits, transactions, or processing power. There are no such constraints in Agama API.
APIs are already playing a key role in shaping our digital ecosystems. Make the most of them by using a reliable API management solution like Agama API.